Extra-inning home runs and complete-game shutouts highlight the opening weekend for Hofstra softball, going 3-2 overall at the FIU Felsberg Invitational in Miami, Florida.
All three of the Pride’s victories came via shutout, defeating East Carolina 4-0 and Florida International twice with scores of 5-0 and 2-0.
Sophie Dandola made her first career start in the second game of the invitational, tossing seven innings without a run allowed, including four strikeouts. She surrendered four hits and two walks in the 5-0 victory against Florida International.
All five of Hofstra’s runs came in the third inning. Brittany Allocca roped an RBI single to right field to open the flood gates followed by a three-run double from Brielle Pietrafesa and an RBI base hit off the bat of Kaitlyne Musa.
The Pride scooped another win in the third game, a 4-0 effort against East Carolina.
Sarah Cornell, who lost the first game against South Carolina, bounced back with a complete game shutout of her own. The sophomore struck out 14 batters along the way, limiting East Carolina to just four baserunners. Sarah Edwards, Allocca and Megan Patierno each logged a run batted in. Kristin Hallam, Allocca and Edwards each collected two hits as well.
Then, in the final game, the fireworks erupted for Hofstra. After a scoreless game through the first seven innings, Edwards clobbered a two-run home run over the left-center field wall to seal the victory.
Cornell was spectacular once more, fanning 11 batters in an eight-inning battle. She walked one and dished out two hits.
The Pride’s one issue all weekend was South Carolina – a consistent Top 25 ranked program. Facing the Gamecocks twice over the course of the invitational, Hofstra was outscored 15-2.
South Carolina pushed for a 4-2 win in the opener, scoring twice in the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Allocca produced both runs for Hofstra in a valiant effort, but Hofstra could not hold on.
Cornell rallied for six innings, giving up four earned runs with six strikeouts.
The second go-around for these teams was scoreless until the fourth inning and from there, South Carolina put Hofstra in its rearview mirror. The Gamecocks fought for 11 runs in the final few innings, ending the game with an 11-0 win. Hofstra had just three hits.
Dandola couldn’t mirror her spotless first outing, allowing five South Carolina players to cross home plate in four innings. Courtney Scarpato came in relief, handing out six runs on six hits.
For the weekend, Allocca went 7-15 (.467) with four runs batted in. Edwards and Pietrafesa followed right behind her with three RBIs each. Hallam collected six hits in 18 at-bats (.333). Cornell went 2-1 with 31 strikeouts and eight hits allowed in 21 innings to garner a 1.31 earned run average. Dandola went 1-1 in 11 total innings with a 3.18 ERA.
The Pride return to action Feb. 16 for a double-header in Orlando, Florida against Kennesaw State and Stetson.